Dramatic Romantic Fiction
Romance is comforting -- it reminds us all that there’s someone out there for everyone. While there are a lot of books that end happily ever after, couples tend to have a few roadblocks in their way before arriving at their destination. Here are a few recent releases that show couples finding their way to one another through thick and thin.
Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Georgina is not exactly on a hot streak. First, she gets fired from her job, a waitressing gig at the most horrible Italian restaurant in the entire British isles. Then, she arrives at her boyfriend’s place to find him in bed with his assistant. Not exactly thrilled, Georgina takes a new job at a bar, which would be all well and good, if it wasn’t owned by her first love, a boy she’d done her best to move on from for the last twelve years. Worse still, he doesn’t even remember her. Lucas is even more handsome than he was in their teens, and seems to be doing better than ever. Georgina, meanwhile, is dealing with pressure on all sides, from her terrible step-father, nagging mother, and holier-than-thou sister, and doesn’t need to be reminded every day that the only person she ever loved has completely forgotten she ever existed. Georgina is relatable, she’s frustrated at being treated badly and wants to do better with her life but can’t figure out how to unravel the mess it’s become. Her enemies are hateable, her problems are challenging and you’ll feel for her. Georgina struggles with grief, anger and trauma, while trying to become the adult she’s expected to be, a familiar struggle to many readers. You’ll want to see her succeed, and be satisfied by her journey to finding both herself and happiness.
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Traveling the world, taking photos of exotic places, this seems like a dream life. For Darcy Barrett, it’s just a way to get away from her well-meaning but overbearing family, and her monster crush on Tom Valeska, her twin brother’s best friend. Darcy has been stuck on the sidelines her whole life, and her twin brother Jamie has been the center of her universe (and seemingly everyone else’s). Despite coming from wealth, her fancy photography prize, and her business, Darcy completely torpedoes her life, and the unthinkable happens. Then, enter Tom Valeska; gorgeous, kind and finally, finally, single. Darcy, while frustrating, is a winning character with a kind heart and wit that will endear her to you instantly. She has a tough exterior, but when you see her truly, you’ll have trouble not falling in love. Tom Valeska is sweet, funny and exactly the guy who would be your brother’s best friend. Darcy, like many young people, is struggling to find her way in the world while also breaking free from destructive behavior, and while she certainly isn’t your average Jane, her story will have you salivating for more.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Alex, first son of the United States, is everything he needs to be: a good student, a good son, a good brother and good for polling numbers. He isn’t a big fan of his entirely too British counterpart, Henry, the Prince of Wales. When bad press gets both of them in trouble, the two have to pretend to be best friends, to take the heat off. This circumstance brings about an unexpected connection between them- Alex is stunned to find that Henry is funny, dramatic and surprisingly hot. The guy who he always thought was boring and stuffy manages to really surprise him, leaving Alex spinning. Everything he’s planned out doesn’t exactly mesh with his new reality, and Alex has to decide if he can live his life authentically while also chasing his dreams. Alex and Henry are both compelling, interesting characters with chemistry off the charts, and funny, engaging dialogue. This book is outrageously funny, with some lines that will get a chuckle out of the most cynical reader. The very real struggles of being a person in the public eye who never had a choice in the matter are made relatable through young, engaging characters like Alex’s older sister, and their best friend Nora, the VP’s granddaughter. Sweet, romantic and tender, Red, White and Royal Blue will steal your heart, no security clearance required.
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
Kailyn is a successful lawyer, and has mostly left behind her youthful obsession with actor Daxon Hughes. They happened to go to law school together, and struck up an unlikely almost-friendship, until Daxon sabotaged Kailyn academically. Eight years later, Kailyn finds herself back in his life, due to a tragic accident that resulted in Daxon having custody of his young sister. Kailyn can be professional, but when Daxon seems to want to pull their relationship out of a purely work context, she can’t help but be thrown. Kailyn also can’t keep herself from connecting with Daxon’s teenage sister, and soon finds herself being folded into their lives. When her boss offers her the promotion she’s been working for in exchange for getting Daxon to jump to their law firm, Kailyn finds herself stuck between the people she has begun to care for, and the career she has worked so hard for. Kailyn also can’t help but remember Daxon’s past betrayal, and wonder if the person she’s falling for is really feeling the same way. Kailyn is full of awkward charm, and her best intentions are laudable. It’s difficult for her to keep professional faced with the grief of two young people facing a life change, and Kailyn finds herself torn between her ethics and people who clearly need her. Kailyn finds familial love, and romantic love, if she can keep it. Daxon is a great love interest, someone clearly conflicted by the new situation he’s in and trying to reshape his life without losing himself. It’s a sweet story with deep feeling, and Meet Cute is a great read.
Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Poppy is a single mom, and she didn’t have the easiest start. Abandoned by the boyfriend she thought would be The One, she moved across the country to find a new life and, years later, is doing pretty well for herself. TK Moore, said boyfriend, is also doing well. He’s a successful football player with a great career, at the top of his game. When Poppy and TK cross paths for the first time in years, Poppy just wants to get away. All TK can do is ruin the life she’s built, and she doesn’t want him involved with her son’s life. TK wants answers, and closure, and doesn’t understand why Poppy won’t talk to him. When Poppy tries to be honest with TK, he blows up at her, and she knows she was right to stay away. TK still wants to be a part of her life, but Poppy doesn’t know if she can trust him, or herself, to do what’s right for Ace, her kid. Poppy is strong and tough while also emotionally vulnerable and raw. She’s been through the meat grinder of love and come out the other side whole. She can do anything on her own, but should she have to? Poppy doesn’t need a partner, but making space in her life for TK, and letting him in, shows her growth as a woman, and as a mother. Poppy is Martin’s most complex, compelling heroine yet, and you’ll be cheering for her from the sidelines.